When you start working it sometimes doesn’t go the way you planned. One of these days you’ll be sitting at your computer and you will realize you wish you were somewhere else. If you’re like most people you will want to jump on an airplane and head off to the other side of the world as you backpack around tropical islands and party at the beach. That obviously sounds great when you think about it. Who wouldn’t want to pack everything in for a year and hop from island to island? If you gave every young person in the world the opportunity I bet most of them would take it.
But even though this sounds like the best idea in the world you have to think about the consequences. This isn’t meant to stop you from going. What I’m about to write is meant to make you realize it’s a bigger sacrifice than you realize. After you read it and you still want to travel the world that’s great, you should definitely go for it. But it’s dangerous to do something based on the fairy-tale notion you have of it in your head. Here’s a few things you might want to take into consideration.
Your monthly living costs
This is going to be the big one, because if you plan on sunning yourself on a tropical beach somewhere you won’t be bringing in any money. When you go to a party and fill yourself with dozens of beers your bank balance won’t magically fill itself back up again. You need to be prepared to have enough money to survive each month. Most places around the world are cheap and you can maybe survive there for $1000-1500 per month, but that’s a lot when you add it all up over the course of a year.
Extra little costs
Don’t forget about travel insurance. If something happens to you while you’re away you need to have cover for emergencies. Your flights are also a cost that adds up. You might spend a few thousand on your around-the-world ticket, but if you add on any flights in between that can also eat into your savings. Then you have your vaccinations before you go. You don’t want to be getting sick while you are on the road, so it’s important to get them.
Throwing away a job
Unless you’re really lucky you won’t have any job to come back to. That means you will need to start again when you come back. It’s not easy to jump back on the professional career ladder and realize everyone your own age is already well in front of you. That’s if you can even find a job when you get back. It’s a huge part of your decision and something you can’t take lightly.
Missing people and relationships
When you go away you will probably lose contact with all your friends. You can still email them, but when you are lying on a beach somewhere there will certainly be some disconnection with them. A year is a long time. It’s the same with family members and you will miss them. You could also miss relationships, because there’s not much chance of them surviving on the road when everyone is always going in different directions.
It can be stressful
You probably weren’t expecting this one, but everything isn’t always green on the other side. No-one can argue with you about the relaxing atmosphere of the tropical beaches and exotic temples, but what about the humid heat that’s always around? Or the touts who are continuously trying to rip you off? Then you have the fact you might go weeks without a hot shower, or days without clean clothes. Sometimes it gets stressful on the other side.